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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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Old 7th August 2006, 10:09
bulldog bulldog is offline
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Smile Smoking In Combat Aicraft

Hi Guys,
Recently I've seen film of aircrew lighting cigarettes in the cockpit of a B-29 returning from a mission over Japan. Was a blind eye turned to this practice and was it against regulations?
I'm aware some fighter pilots smoked during missions, but I'm not sure how common this was.
Regards Bulldog.
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Old 8th August 2006, 04:58
alanscheckenbach alanscheckenbach is offline
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Re: Smoking In Combat Aicraft

Bulldog,

I'm not sure that all Air Forces did this.

I can say positively that, at least, 315 squadron of the Polish Air Force allowed pilots to smoke on long missions.

In late '44 and early '45, when 315 escorted squadrons of the Dallachy strike wing (Beaus and Mosquitoes) to Norway, the pilots were issued with 10 Woodbines and a packet or two of sandwiches.

Tootling along at 50 feet and 180 knots, to stay with the Beaus, things were pretty boring and a fag was a welcome break for the pilot. I spcualte that they were allowed to smoke and eat on the transit to and from the target because no enemy were expected until the target was quite close, where things occasionally got frantic for a little while and then went quiet again on the way home.

I'm not sure if the Beau pilots & navs from RAAF 455 were issued with fags as well.

I don't think that fags were issued on long escort missions into Germany though.

Cheers

Alan
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Old 8th August 2006, 07:29
JamesM JamesM is offline
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Re: Smoking In Combat Aicraft

Hi Bulldog.

I read somewhere that the German ace, "Dolfo" Galland, smoked frequently on his flights over the English Channel. So did Douglas Bader, I think.

Cheers.

James.
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Old 8th August 2006, 09:06
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Peter Kassak Peter Kassak is offline
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Re: Smoking In Combat Aicraft

To this topic...
My friends excavated P-38 cockpit and inside on the right side of pilot they have found a ammunition shell made ash tray (used)...so the guy enjoyed cigare during long flight hours...that is true!
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Old 8th August 2006, 16:15
bulldog bulldog is offline
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Re: Smoking In Combat Aicraft

Thanks guys,
I've known for a fair while Galland often smoked his cigars during flight, but the ashtray in the cockpit is something new. Perhaps the practice was a bit more common than I thought. Surely though given the nature of inflammable fuels, etc there must have been regulations against smoking in the aircraft?
But there again I have seen photographs of Luftwaffe ground crew smoking very close to a plane during refuelling!
Once again many thanks for your input.
regards Bulldog.
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Old 8th August 2006, 18:52
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drgondog drgondog is offline
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Re: Smoking In Combat Aicraft

2SF ace Bill Whalen was allegedly nicknamed "gooney" for lighting up while chasing and shooting down his 3rd Fw 190 on November 26.. hard to imagine but the story was validated by his wingman Leon Marmon at a 355th FG reunion in Tuscon.

Regards,

Bill Marshall
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Old 8th August 2006, 19:16
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Peter Clare Peter Clare is offline
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Re: Smoking In Combat Aicraft

The filght deck of RAF Coastal Command Liberators had ash trays fitted.
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Old 8th August 2006, 21:41
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George Hopp George Hopp is offline
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Re: Smoking In Combat Aicraft

At medium to high altitude, gas fumes would be the least of an aircrew's worries, with an oxygen mask spewing out 100% oxygen right beside their faces. One would assume they turned off the oxygen while they had their fag.
I understand that B-24s had to transfer fuel in flight to maintain a decent Cof G, and there smoking was strictly forbidden because the fuselage tended to fill with fumes during this operation. Does anyone have more details on this?
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Old 8th August 2006, 22:18
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Smoking In Combat Aicraft

I think every US aircraft had an ashtray fitted. It must be remembered that the approach to smoking was then significantly different.
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Old 9th August 2006, 09:25
bulldog bulldog is offline
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Re: Smoking In Combat Aicraft

Hi to all. Thanks again for your informative replies. With today's social engineering it is easy to forget smoking was more acceptable then and that most tobacco products were government issue to servicemen. I knew the B-24's were regarded as a fire trap due to fume buildup and I presume other aircraft would have suffered this problem. In a way it proves smoking was as dangerous to your health back then.
Regards Bob.
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